Essentially making sure that your estate is administered efficiently, tax liabilities settled and the beneficiaries receive their due inheritance.

Not all estates are simple.  Life is complicated these days, and we can all leave problems behind.  These are some of the issues we deal with every day.

The administration of un-contested estates with UK only assets. There is no standard estate. Wills & families vary. Some people do not make wills. Assets range from a few simple items to estates of great size and complexity. Tax considerations and business/agricultural property reliefs may apply. Problems may arise over lifetime gifts, income tax, pensions, trusts, locating beneficiaries and (on occasions – family disputes). The list is endless. We set out below our charges for dealing with the ‘average’ probate file, based on estate value, listing the disbursements payable and indicating what we will charge extra for and the basis of those extra charges.

For several years we have given detailed quotations based on the firm’s ‘Probate Checklist’. That process will continue. Our website is aimed at giving you an ‘average’ position, not knowing any of the issues surrounding the estate.

A brief list of work required in the ‘average’ estate is set out below.

We are also required to indicate a timescale. Most Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration can be obtained within 2 to 20 weeks of us being fully instructed. Times are likely to be longer if specialist valuations are required or where Inheritance Tax is payable. The time taken to administer estates may be determined by how long it takes to sell assets (usually the house) the time taken to settle and agree tax liabilities, family disputes and other factors that may cause delay. Nevertheless, most non-IHT taxable estates will be concluded within 9 months of instruction and taxable estates within 15 months of instruction. This is, however, a general guide only. The fee scales below do not include conveyancing charges on any property sale or transfer. Please see the separate scale on our website.

Our standard fee scale for estate administration :-
(Based on simple valid will. A house/flat and no more than 6 accounts/investments with different institutions)

For estates including house/flat up to | £100,000  | £595 plus VAT
For estates including house/flat up to | £150,000  | £795 plus VAT
For estates including house/flat up to | £200,000 | £995 plus VAT
For estates including house/flat up to | £250,000 | £1495 plus VAT
For estates including house/flat up to | £300,000 | £1,995 plus VAT

Above £300,000 1% gross estate (except for house/flat value) ½% gross value for house/flat

£325,000 estate (including £200,000 house)
£200,000 x ½%= £1,000
£125,000 x 1% = £1,250
£2,250 + VAT

There are relatively few disbursements in probate cases. The application fee for a Grant of Probate and Land Registry Office Copies are normally in the range £275 – £285.  These application fees are not subject to VAT.  Other than these fees, professional valuation of certain assets (eg property, personal belongings and shares) may be needed – prices vary considerably depending on the items in question. Also there may be Land Registry fees payable ie if land/property is transferred to a beneficiary.  These are not subject to VAT.

Many issues result in additional work being required in probate cases. The following list is not complete, but details many of the issues: –

The need for additional work will be agreed with clients in advance (as it becomes necessary) and charged at an hourly rate – currently £225 plus VAT per hour for Mr Dawson. In appropriate cases we may agree a cap or limit on these fees, however some extra disbursements may be payable depending on circumstances. Issues may arise where expert advice/ work from other professionals will be necessary and incur further costs i.e. employing an expert accountant to settle tax liabilities or a chartered surveyor to value land/premises other than private residences. Occasionally a barrister’s opinion as to the interpretation of a will or the validity of a claim against the estate. Again, we will agree a budget with you. We are always willing to discuss instructions with you – we are here to help at what is for all clients a difficult time.

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